Tag / Seasonal

Recipe

Green Tomato Chutney Recipe

I got a call from my Uncle Graham this morning asking me if I could use a few green tomatoes which were left over from his summer tomato crop. Well, in actual fact, I had never done anything with green tomatoes before but not wanting to turn down his offer I said “Of course, that’s fab Uncle” and popped around the corner to collect them. (We live like a dozen houses from each other).

The only recollection I had of green toms was when I was a kid, my dad was always trying to ripen them, either in a drawer in the dresser or on a sunny windowsill, they never turned as far as I can recall.

When in doubt in these situations, I call upon chutney. My family will tell you, should you bother to ask, I am a bit of a condiment queen. When I was a kid the best thing about mam’s salad on Sunday tea was the Heinz Salad Cream.

Chutney is a big fave of mine, so I made some, took about half an hour to cook down and Bob’s your uncle. (I don’t have an uncle called Bob, but my kids do)!

Ingredients:

175g Brown Sugar
150ml White Wine Vinegar
1 Onion (finely chopped)
1 Cooking Apple (finely chopped)
125g Sultanas
500g Green Tomatoes
1 tsp Chilli Flakes
1 tsp Ginger Powder
1 tbs Garlic Puree

N.B. I used dried spices and a tube of garlic puree as that’s what I had in the larder, but fresh would be fine of course.

Method:

1. In a frying pan, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar under a low heat
2. Throw all the ingredients in and bubble down until they form a sticky, chutney consistency
3. Bingo! Done. Pop into sterilised jars (2 x 500g)

Great with cold meats and cheeses, bang it on the Buffet Table!

Baking Christmas

Christmas Cake Recipe

It is here once again, we are into November and it is time to get the big mixing bowls out for the Christmas Cake.

I know that not everyone is a fan, but I am! It’s a tradition to make at least one cake. My mam used to make a round one; royal icing peaked to make look like snow, a ruffled frill around it and plastic decorations: Father Christmas, robins, a snowman, and a Merry Xmas greeting.

I don’t bother with fancy pants stuff,  I just go with tradition. Mam also made two Christmas Cake loaves. My fondest memories of Christmas Eve are having a slice with some cheese and a little sip of cream sherry.

When I am doing the final stir up I get my husband and girls to take turns stirring and make a wish. (If they’re away from home they do it telepathically, I text them when to make the wish and I stir for them).

Here we go, this makes a big cake, like ten inches and tall. If you want to adjust to make smaller give me a toot and I will send quantities.

Ingredients: 

450g Sultanas
450g Currants
450g Raisins
150g Chopped Prunes or Dates
100g Glace Cherries
100g Candied Peel
6 Tbs Brandy
450g Plain Flour
A large pinch of Salt
1 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tsp Mixed Spice
2 Tbs Cocoa Powder
450g Unsalted Butter
450g Dark Brown Sugar
8 Large Eggs
100g Ground Almonds
100g Flake Almonds

Method:

1. Soak all the dried fruit in a bowl with the brandy the night before you bake your cake
2. Grease a 10inch springform tin and line with baking parchment
3. Preheat the oven to 150 or fan 140
4. Sift together the flour, spices cocoa and salt
5. Whisk the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
6. Beat the eggs in a jug and beat in to the sugar and butter gradually
7. With a large spoon, mix in the flour/spice mix and fruit together
8. Make a wish
9. Spoon into the cake tin and level the top
10. Using newspaper or brown paper and string protect the outside of the tin
11. Bake for about 3 and a half hours, or until a skewer come out clean
12. Leave to cool in the tin then wrap in foil and store in a cool place
13. Feed the cake with brandy every week until it is time to decorate (liberally spoon brandy onto the cake)